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Network Sitcom Power Rankings – Week of December 10, 2012

The new episodes begin to dwindle and give some shows a chance to improve their average ranking. More Christmas stuff. Not quite tired of it yet… but there are still a few Christmas episodes left for next week. Alright, here we go!

#1 Apartment 23 – Season 2 Episode 6 – Damn it this show is great. Even if this episode only consisted of James’ dance routine I would have ranked this first this week. I kind of want to watch Dancing with the Stars now, too. My favorite part was the look of horror on Chloe’s face when the little boy started walking towards her.

#2 Modern Family – Season 4 Episode 10 – A very good episode, I liked pretty much everything about it. We didn’t see Haley or Alex but I didn’t really miss them. I also prefer Gloria’s terrible singing over Ava’s singing on Up All Night.

#3 The Big Bang Theory – Season 6 Episode 11 – The highlights for me were Sheldon singing and Raj going out with the girls. I was also happy that Stuart is finally back.

#4 Last Man Standing – Season 2 Episode 7 – Ed’s Eagle storyline was silly, which I enjoyed. Mike’s “kidnapping the dog” plan ended up being a pretty cool way to bring the episode to a close. Overall, very good.

#5 The Neighbors – Season 1 Episode 10 – Finally a non-holiday episode! Instead we got a funeral. Still, it was nice a change of pace and it was pretty entertaining.

#6 The Mindy Project – Season 1 Episode 9 – Danny’s gingerbread house with cotton candy insulation is my favorite holiday thing this season. He and Mindy need to just get together already, come on now. Pretty good episode.

#7 New Girl – Season 2 Episode 11 – Christmas parties. Uh… Oh yeah, my favorite joke was after Sam talked to the room they were hiding in he says he’s done the same speech in three rooms already. It’s a lot funnier than it sounds. Yeah alright, anyway…

#8 The Middle – Season 4 Episode 10 – Axl and Brick’s story was pretty good this week, and I enjoyed the whole anniversary story as well.  I’m watching the episode of Love Bites where James Roday has a foot fetish as I write this so I’m getting really distracted by the weirdness of that. By the way, I really like this show, they’re a bunch of separate stories that get intertwined in interesting ways. Sounds kind of familiar

#9 Up All Night – Season 2 Episode 10 and 11 – I liked the trip to big bear more than the wedding flashback. They were both pretty good. I just found out that after this the show will switch to multi-cam with a live audience. That is going to be very, very weird.

#10 How I Met Your Mother – Season 8 Episode 10 – This episode was silly which was great. The show is getting more and more like the good old How I Met Your Mother I enjoy so much. I’m actually writing this after I’ve already seen the next two episodes, so I won’t say any more.

#11 Happy Endings – Season 3 Episode 6 – This wasn’t as memorable as the last couple episodes. I mostly just remember Jane going “full Gallagher.” And Tommy Jefferson. And Kulap. Anyway, don’t worry about the low ranking because it’s still safe this week!

#12 Whitney – Season 2 Episode 4 – I enjoyed this episode but I have to eliminate it. Not as good as everything else this week and in past weeks. Just like last week it felt like way too much A story. I’ll keep watching it though.

So that’s it for this week! With Whitney eliminated I’m down to just 16 shows remaining from this fall. They’re going to keep on dropping though, because there are a handful of shows that start in January and February.

And here are the running totals:

(Show Name – Total –  Avg)
Apartment 23 – 8 – 1.33
Parks and Recreation – 13 – 1.44
Go On – 27 – 2.45
Animal Practice – 16 – 2.67 – Canceled
Suburgatory – 21 – 3.00
Neighbors – 50 – 5.00
Modern Family – 52 – 5.20
Office – 53 – 5.89
Ben and Kate – 61 – 6.10
New Girl – 84 – 7.64
Big Bang Theory – 88 – 8.00
Mindy Project – 75 – 8.33
Up All Night – 86 – 8.64
Middle – 92 – 9.20
Last Man Standing – 67 – 9.57
Happy Endings – 68 – 11.33
Raising Hope – 94 – 11.75 – Eliminated
How I Met Your Mother – 119 – 11.90
Guys With Kids – 121 – 12.10 – Eliminated
Whitney – 52 – 13.00 – Eliminated
Partners – 88 – 14.67 – Canceled
2 Broke Girls – 106 – 15.14 – Eliminated
Malibu Country – 46 – 15.33 – Eliminated
Two and a Half Men – 64 – 16.00 – Eliminated
30 Rock – 35 – 17.50 – Eliminated
Mike and Molly – 37 – 18.50 – Eliminated
New Normal – Eliminated

Network Sitcom Power Rankings – Week of September 10, 2012

Welcome to a brand new season of television!

Here’s how this will work… This season I’m going to quickly review nearly every single sitcom on network television (spoiler-free for the most part) and rank them according to how much I enjoyed them. The show’s placement is their score for that week (so number one will get 1 point, number two gets 2 points, etc.) which means that as the scores accumulate the lowest score is the best show. Honestly, I predict I’ll give Parks and Rec first place consistently but I will try to be as fair as possible.

I will not be ranking the Fox animated shows even though I like all of them. On the other hand if I can’t bear watching a show I will take it off the list and they will be disqualified!

So let’s get started!

Everything is kind of off to a staggered start and NBC is the only network to air new episodes of their sitcoms so far. Animal Practice aired about a month ago as did the first episode of Go On so I will go ahead and lump them in with this week to round out the scores a little bit.

#1 Go On – Season 1 Episode 1 – “People love rankings!” Well there you go! I was iffy about this show going into it, but Brett Gelman and Seth Morris? March Sadness? Google street view silliness? I think I like this show a tad more than Animal Practice just because I watched it more recently.

Edit: #1 Go On – Season 1 Episode 2 – I completely forgot that I had a second episode of Go On to watch. I actually liked this episode even more than the first. Favorite line: “I say Ryan, you say best friend! Ryan! … Are you saying it?” The cat storyline was great. The basketball story was great. Brett Gelman’s bits were awesome. This show is definitely headed in the right direction for me. Just so a show doesn’t lose points to itself I’ve decided that if a show has two episodes in a week that are next to each other in the rankings that it will be a tie. So Go On gets two #1’s this week and everything else stays the same.

#2 Animal Practice – Season 1 Episode 1 – I love animals! I like all of the characters! Justin Kirk is the man! I’m very much looking forward to the next episode!

#3 Guys With Kids – Season 1 Episode 1 – The first few minutes were rough but by the end of the episode I started to enjoy it. Nothing really jumps out as special aside from the constant presence of babies though. I’ll keep watching to see if it grows on me more, but I doubt it will rank anywhere near this high once more shows start up.

#4 New Normal – Season 1 Episode 1 – Modern Family clone. Less effort to hide that couldn’t be made. There’s too much wrong with this show so far… I’ll give it one more episode just so I can complete this week’s rankings.

#5 New Normal – Season 1 Episode 2 – Further viewing has reenforced everything I disliked about the first episode. How did anyone approve this for production? Consider this my first sitcom to be eliminated this season. I came across this review that matches my thoughts pretty well, so I won’t waste any more time writing about this show.

And that’s everything for this week. I’ll post the current standings with total scores starting next time since what you just read is already the current standings.

Thanks for reading!


Television Today is Awesome

I’m tired of the argument that television is terrible compared to what it used to be. I couldn’t disagree more. There are too many awesome TV series for me to even stay caught up on and I watch a hell of a lot of TV. Someone who watches significantly less TV than I do is sure to be able to fill their tight watching schedule with some amazing productions.

Sure there continues to be more singing/dancing/crying “reality” shows each season, but that’s because so many people tune in. Not that all reality shows are terrible, I enjoy the hell out of a lot them. Top Shot, Amazing Race, Survivor and the Apprentice are some of my favorites. I would classify those as game shows though… That’s a whole other discussion that I might get into at a later date.

There are a number of great network shows, the premium cable channels produce high quality stuff, and now basic cable channels like FX, AMC, Syfy, USA and TNT are setting new standards for the medium. Remember when original cable series consisted of stuff like Mortal Kombat: Konquest? Now we have Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, Falling Skies, Psych, Mad Men… the list goes on.

If there’s anything bad about television today it’s that there is too much of it. The excellent shows are spread wide and far across the schedule. Sure that would have been a huge problem 20 years ago but it really isn’t today. We have DVR, Tivo, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, Amazon… There are so many ways to find and watch great television. Even the classic series some yearn for are right at our fingertips!

There may be a ton of junk on the airwaves but it has never been easier to find something better to watch.

Alcatraz – Season 1 Episode 11 ‘Webb Porter’

Yet another fantastic episode, I’m really hoping the viewership is up from last week! Spoilers ahead…

I really liked that this episode was centered around music so much. I was surprised I didn’t catch on to the human hair strung bows before the scene where Madsen and Hauser search Porter’s apartment. The funniest bit was when Hauser asked the one musician at the bar about Porter, and he kept ragging on violinists.

This episode was basically a Lucy episode, it’s pretty interesting that she is turning out to be so important despite spending most of the season in a coma. However, if she’s the “key to everything” why didn’t they know what all was going on before she was shot? Or maybe she couldn’t get the answers they needed yet since they only had Jack Sylvane in custody at that point. Also the Hauser/Lucy developing romance scenes (on the dock and on the date) were definitely “aww” worthy. In the past I’ve criticized Parminder Nagra (as Lucy) for being very stiff and robotic, but I didn’t even think about that at all this episode, so either the character is loosening up or I’m just getting used to it.

The girl’s night out scene with Madsen and Nikki was kind of neat, but I was surprised they didn’t talk about Soto at all. I would have expected even just a, “So I heard you went out with Doc the other night, oh hold on.” Phone rings. Hopefully there’s at least a little followup to that in the two hour season finale, but it’s not super important.

I had a feeling the film made in the music room was going to be important in some way, and of course it paid off with Doc and Madsen finding out that Lucy is a ’63. This also has me wondering if they’ll finally be let in on the super secret underground prison compound by the end of the season

I have to give this episode recognition for not being nearly as violent as any of the previous episode. There was basically only one incident of onscreen violence, and all the killing was drowning so there wasn’t any blood or body parts flying around.

On that note, I don’t remember if they ever said what Webb did to be locked away to begin with? I probably just missed it. Feel free to correct me in the comments, and I’ll be sure to update this paragraph if I catch it on a rewatch!

My prediction (and my mom’s) is that Edwin James will appear in the present in the finale, and he will be the source of many answers.

I still have my fingers firmly crossed for renewal, but if not these 11 episodes so far have been my favorite beginning of a network series yet. I’m sure next week’s two hour season finale will keep up the quality as well, I can’t wait!

Thanks for reading

Alcatraz – Season 1 Episode 10 ‘Sonny Burnett’

Unlike my review for episode 9, I’m writing this about 10 hours after I watched it. Spoilers ahead.

Another really entertaining episode. We got a few more answers with our questions coming better into focus. So some of the 63’s were experimented on with some colloidal silver process being done on their blood… But that isn’t what caused them to “jump” since not all of them had this done to them, and I assume the doctor didn’t either since he didn’t know about it until now. Was Warden James trying to find a cure to something?

I’m not going to bet that any of the remaining episode will be death-less… but I will guess that either episode 11 or 12 will have only one death. Or if there are multiple, they will be relatively tame like poisonings or something.

Honestly I laughed when Madsen opened the bag in the stable. Not because severed heads are funny, not at all. But, as soon as I saw the bag I shouted “His head is in there!” so I was expecting it. No, her reaction to the contents of the bag is what got me laughing. Not in a bad way, but in an “I appreciate the realism of this” way. What’s enough to make Madsen crack? A head in a bag.

I can’t think of any favorite quotes since I didn’t write them down and can’t remember otherwise. There were a couple of great ones from Warden James in his conversations with Tiller, one about the Wolf and the Pack. I found that storyline very interesting, and can see that power struggle developing through to the end of the season.

I wasn’t really expecting Clarence Montgomery to seem too out of place being shown next week instead of last, but as far as I can remember there really wasn’t anything at all that will be confusing. So hopefully more people tune in, it’s a great episode! Tell your friends!

Looks like Ames Brothers got 5.82m viewers, and Sunny got 5.47. If they were on separate nights I think Sunny would have had closer to 5.8. two hours of Alcatraz back to back is a bit overwhelming, so that drop off makes sense. It’s not looking good, but I really hope Fox renews Alcatraz for another 13 midseason, and Fringe for a final 13 in the fall. Person of Interest alone is not enough Bad Robot!

Next week’s episode, Clarence Montgomery, is great so be sure to tune in!